Locking Down Hope

“Every day has been as dark or darker than the previous one.” So says the opening paragraph of Jeffrey A. Tucker’s recent post on lockdowns. Tucker notes a host of concerns (some economic and others emotional) causing stress levels to rise beyond the breaking point. The oft-used catch-phrase “we’re all in this together” (an absurd bromide, if you ask me) seems woefully inadequate for individuals crushed by loneliness or economic disaster (or both). Aloneness tends to produce dark days with the potential to become darker.

Image by Queven from Pixabay

Search the internet and observe the number of pandemic-related stories highlighting dramatic increases of both drug overdose and suicide rates. The dismal details are distressing enough to turn one’s perfectly sunny day into clouds and rain!

Despairing individuals don’t feel hope. (Note:  I used the word feel.) There is always hope but people in crisis fail to feel anything besides their pain; and they want it stopped now. Even though Proverbs 13:12a tells us, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” some people are incapable of weeding through their pain long enough to consider the second part of that verse:  “But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

I was thinking about that dilemma a month ago when I read the sad news of Professor Mike Adams who ended his life at the age of 55. Since reading his first book (at right) in 2004, I admired the man’s frank insights about being a conservative professor on a progressive college campus. My daughter and I met him once at a college forum.

I can’t pretend to understand the Professor’s state of mind, but it was clear he’d experienced the bile and venom of current Cancel Culture. Such a shame.

Today, a Facebook tidbit sent me to my search engine. (This is a glimpse into the way my brain works, perpetually distractible … are you ready for it?) Since I grew up in St. Louis, I enjoy the Vintage St. Louis & Route 66 FB page. It’s a mix of nostalgia and history, people, places and interesting past events. Today, one of the posted pictures was a newspaper item from August 1967 announcing the birth of quadruplets. Such a joyous event, the birth of quads!

Though we probably lived nearby, I never knew this family. However, I was mildly curious about them, so search I did. I discovered the parents of these four baby boys were already parents to six other children under 10!

Let me issue a disclaimer here. Other than the details gleaned from newspaper articles, I know absolutely nothing about this family. They deserve their anonymity and I don’t want to speculate about the circumstances … except to note tragedy befell. A mid-May 1969 newspaper headline tells the heart-rending story.

No, not related to a lockdown or pandemic, but sad beyond belief! Sad for me though I’d never met these people! Still, I can imagine the grief of a wife and ten precious children suddenly bereft. A man not quite 39 years old whose pain was so unbearable, he chose an irreversible course.

As I reflect on the pandemic lockdown and its many ramifications, I think the powers-that-be should have included one of those impossible-to-read, 4-point type contraindication inserts you receive with some medications! Shouldn’t we have been forewarned about this lockdown’s negative impact?

Wherever you are, keep close to your family, remind each member there’s always hope. Never give in to despair. Cherish the smallest hope until it grows – it will! Desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Hang on to that beautiful promise. And this promise also, from Psalm 42:5:

Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.

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